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    My name is Lawrence Renna, I am currently a graduate student in the Chemistry Department at University of Massachusetts Amherst, working under Prof. D. Venkataraman (DV Group). I am currently working on understanding the fundamentals of hierarchical self-assembly of organic nanoparticles into functional materials. I focus on using scanning probe techniques to determine the bulk morphology, using simulations of assemblies. I am also working on understanding what variables can be tuned in order to have complete control over nanoparticle self-assembly.

    I went to undergraduate at Northeastern University graduating Magnum Cum Laude receiving a B.S. in Chemistry and a minor in Mathematics. I did my undergraduate research for Prof. Kirss, working on a kinetics study of an organometallic catalysis mechanism through a comprehensive series of experiments, and the synthesis of a series of organometallic analogues and subsequent analysis of their electrochemical properties. I received the ACS Inorganic Chemistry Award for Undergraduate Research (2012), and was a Provost Undergraduate Research Grant Recipient (2011-2012).

    Through the highly regarded co-op program at Northeastern University, I interned at QinetiQ North America (QNA). QNA is a major defense contractor in the US, and in my time there I was exposed to and participated in myriad initiatives set forth by government agencies. In short, I utilized surface and organic chemistry for DBTI program (US Army) and D5 program (US Army) focusing mainly on decontamination of chemical warfare agents for soldier survivability. I employed synthetic organic chemistry in the SERDP program (DOE) to develop a renewable synthetic route to a commonly used resin, and organometallic chemistry for the MAZE program (DARPA) for efficient gas sorption and testing. My work resulted in multiple ACS and other poster presentations, a provisional patent, and a DTIC publication.

    I was hired back at QNA as a staff chemist; my task was to finish the D5 program (Army). The project’s objective was to optimize/finalize the design of material for the decontamination of chemical warfare agents and soldier protection. I used decontamination chemistry, worked with a plant for manufacture optimization, and engineered a final material for deliverable and live agent testing.

    I am originally from the Delaware Water Gap area in northwestern New Jersey. In my personal life I enjoy seeing live music, hiking and camping.